UGC is a great way to boost a brand through social proof. Customers who post this content are automatically advocates of your brand. But with the vastness of the internet, it is tough to find this content and recruit these customers.
With 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram alone every day, social media is a never-ending source of user-generated content.
Don’t worry; you have a one-way ticket to those customer photographs and videos once you convince your users to start posting using your hashtag — a process you can learn more about here.
Key Aspects Of UGC
User-generated content (UGC) refers to all content created by users on any platform, including social media, forums and websites. Unlike brand-generated content, UGC is a type of earned media that includes photographs, videos and written content, including comments and reviews.
Unlike advertising material, which tends to sell things, UGC is open about its true value. UGC influences 60% of users. The benefit of incorporating genuine customer photographs and testimonials in your sales approach is seen by the 136% boost in conversions reported by brands leveraging visual UGC.
Are Customers Good Influencers?
By definition, they are already your brand evangelists! So yes, they make good influencers because:
They have deep product knowledge
Being users of the products beforehand, they know how your product works, its best hacks, and more. They may also have certain things they particularly like about your service and things they don’t.
Using their natural brand loyalty will result in authentic content that has a more significant impact on your business.
They are already advocates of the brand unlike other paid influencers
These fans took the first step to share your brand with their community. They talk about it without expecting anything back. This goes a long way to show they are already convinced your product is worth talking about. They use their real-life customer experience to craft compelling and persuasive content that converts customers.
Their loyalty can convince other users
When someone who isn’t expecting compensation from a brand is ready to go out on a limb and endorse it, you can trust that they see something positive in it. Add in the fact that most customers are now looking for feedback before purchasing. Consumer reviews are an important sort of UGC that has almost become a reflex in the purchase process: it is estimated that 87% of buyers consult an internet review before purchasing a product.
Their content has high engagement and only requires reach
It’s unfathomable for businesses to tap into offline interactions such as dinner table conversations, hanging out with family or friends, or casually ringing people. However, when you pique your consumers’ interest to the point where they’re talking about your product offline, you’ll reach out to more people and attract a different kind of attention than other brands running screen-based promotions.
Recruiting Customers As Influencers
It is essential to consider these two considerations before creating a strategy to recruit your customers as brand supporters.
1. Personalized outreach
You already know what they like about your brand. Use this info to craft personalized communication strategies that make it irresistible for them to resist.
You can identify the best strategy to approach them about collaborating with you by looking at their posts about your brand. When recruiting organic brand ambassadors, remember to keep this in mind: demonstrating a personal touch goes a long way in securing new partnerships.
2. Consent is key
Always err on the side of caution and don’t use UGC without permission. It’s not fair to the people who created the content to use it in any context without permission, whether it’s a casual snapshot or a well-curated piece of work. Always communicate with the user why you want to share their content and let them know before you incorporate their UGC into your marketing content. After all, through trust, you can foster the kind of two-way relationship that benefits both the business and the customer.
Run An Influencer Campaign With UGC Customers
Launching your own UGC campaign is one of the best methods to get started with identifying the right-fit influencer. This allows you to specify what kind of campaign you’re looking for. Let’s get started on our five-step plan for making the most of a user-generated content strategy.
1. The right social network
It’s essential to understand not only where your target audience hangs out on social media but also where they have the most power. Instagram is excellent for sharing visuals, but consider whether your target audience visits the platform.
Selecting a network and creating a social environment that allows you to distribute content and meaningfully communicate with your customers helps you stand out from the crowd and foster long-term partnerships.
Marketers should consider where they already have a presence on social media and where their customers want them to interact more.
2. Specific UGC goals
Brands can capitalize on UGC by having goals and guidelines in place. This will help develop the brand’s overall content calendar as well. Brands can also decide on incentive plans beforehand to keep the momentum going.
Some of these goals include:
- Engagement: Brands may need to increase their engagement rate with their audience. Influencers aid by sparking conversations in interesting ways which may result in more comments, shares and likes as indicators of success.
- Conversion rates: UGC and commerce are like a match made in heaven. More than half of the customers tend to read reviews online to purchase decisions. You can influence such decisions in your favor through unboxings and influencer-led campaigns.
- Trust: One of the critical benefits of UGC is its authenticity. If you build your online reputation or do some firefighting, you can use UGC to turn things for the good. Build brand trust by tracking keywords and hashtags on the web.
- Education: You can build awareness about your cause through UGC. Listen to the most common questions asked by your customers. Your influencers can then answer them directly or through creative content.
- Time saved: The most obvious part of it all, you save so much time in ideation and creation! With the added benefits of getting access to new content, this is a great thing to have on your side.
3. Ask the audience for specific content
How will your audience know to participate in user-generated content if you don’t explicitly inform them?
Whether you’re looking for photographs or customer reviews, your advocates require proper guidance. Be open and honest about your brand’s rules and regulations regarding user-generated content. Encourage UGC through hashtags, contests and polls. This helps the users focus their UGC content in the direction they desire.
4. Focus on community and collaboration
The way UGC generates participation and strengthens the community is one of the best things.
Receiving a mention or repost from a brand can be a perfect surprise for customers. UGC is the glue that holds everything together, bringing new individuals together through dialogue and bridging the gap between those interactions and the brand. In the end, it establishes trust. You’ll drive users down the marketing funnel if you do it right.
Answer questions, give praise, attend product releases and demonstrate your humanity. Because your consumer is aware that there is a person behind the screen, give your brand a personality. Instead of treating social media interaction as a chore, look at it as a chance.
5. Analyze and measure UGC efforts
To sum up, if you want your UGC plan to succeed, you must measure it. Benchmarking is necessary regardless of your objectives. Brands need to use analytics and data to optimize their content and UGC campaigns like all other marketing. Use your social media analytics to better understand the content and conversations taking place around your brand. These powerful social tools enable you to analyze your efforts and identify new chances to source and share user-generated content, whether it’s a contextual analysis of keywords, hashtags, or customer experiences.
Pro Tips for Working With UGC Influencers
1. Share UGC through a dedicated account
Some brands have a separate account just for sharing their user-generated content. Dior is one such brand with a dedicated Instagram page, @diorbeautylovers,where customers share their tips about using their beloved Dior products. The brand uses the tags used by the fans to repost these photos to its own account.
Figure 1: Dior shares UGC from its fans who upload its products. Source: Instagram
2. Use authentic advertising
Incorporate UGC reviews into your ads like Garnier. Garnier used crash-test footage of YouTubers to market the Fructis Hair Food range of hair products. The brand made a great TV ad by merging videos in which users share their views.
Figure 2: Garnier converted UGC reviews into an ad for its product. Source: YouTube
3. Use TikTok
UGC on TikTok is fast, authentic, and can be incorporated with product use videos. On its official TikTok page, the well-known cosmetics, skincare, and perfume brand Estée Lauder features user-generated video content.
A brand can diversify its content and boost its presence on a fast-growing social network by using the visual component of a short and lively video. The 60-second video format set by the platform allows the products to be shown and tested quickly. A great method to obtain a quick opinion on a popular product!
UGC: A Mark Of Trust And Authenticity
With a focus on authenticity and the sincerity of user-reviewed content, UGC will continue to gain popularity. Users believe that a product with mixed reviews is more trustworthy than solely good ratings.
Furthermore, being open and honest about UGC is a smart method to increase conversions. Consumer engagement rises by 28% when brands share this kind of content. In addition to increasing sales, it allows influencers and businesses to connect with their audience through trust.
Looking for influencers to create valuable UGC can take time, and the process is extensive. However, you can make influencer marketing easy and streamlined with AtisfyReach, our AI-based influencer marketing platform. The platform’s algorithm matches brands with the ideal influencers based on the campaign’s goals – be it an increase in brand awareness, more engagement, or boosting revenue at scale.
Find the perfect influencer to promote your brand! Register your interest with AtisfyReach today!